In their heyday, arcades weren't just about the games. They were about the experience of leaving the house and going to a public space to play games, hanging out with friends and meeting new people who would then kick your ass.

It's a scene that today is sadly long gone. All we've got left, then, is memories, and the best kind of arcade memories are rad photos of the kids who grew up in them.

These pictures are part of an amazing Flickr group called Growing Up In Arcades: 1979-1989, which collects original, everyday photos of, well, yeah. Submitted by users from around the world (though mainly from the US), this public collection of normal people playing video games in normal arcades will bring back fond memories to anyone who was alive and gaming at the time.

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And if you weren't? Don't laugh too hard at the pants.

You can check out dozens more of these awesome pics at the collection's site here.

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[Lead pic by Mark Bukumunhe]

TOTAL RECALL

Total Recall is a look back at the history of video games through their characters, franchises, developers and trends.

"Pizza Hut Arcade" by Garrett Bradford.

"Me Playing Missile Command 1982" by theunabonger.

"Jeff G. at Mt. Airy Lodge Gameroom" by Russ Glasson.

"Brighton - 10-08-1980" by Harald Haeusler.

"1982 Testing out the New Games" by Chris Boznos.

"Girl Playing PacMan at Coral Springs festival, 1983" by Steven Martin.

"Hastings Coastal Amusements George Street 1983" by Dave.